Deep Freeze Classic not a hot seller around Alaska's Interior

Posted: Monday, May 08, 2000

DELTA JUNCTION (AP) -- After four years, people who live in Alaska's Interior still haven't warmed to the Delta Deep Freeze Classic, and the event is losing money. This year's $2,000 jackpot was the lowest ever.

The Deep Freeze Classic is a take off on the older, more famous Nenana Ice Classic, where people from around the state try to guess when ice in the Tanana River will break up.

In the Deep Freeze, entrants try to guess the time and date of the winter's deepest cold, which is recorded by a thermometer attached to a computer in Delta Junction.

The problem seems to be that too few people are aware of the event, organizers said.

The Delta Chamber of Commerce, which started the lottery, doesn't have a lot of advertising money, said chamber president Claire Wingfield. Tickets are available only in Delta Junction, North Pole and Fairbanks.

In contrast, Nenana Ice Classic tickets are sold statewide. And the Ice Classic pot paid out a record $335,000 last week.

The most recent Deep Freeze winner was Linda Crawford, 49, of North Pole. She came within four minutes of the actual time of the coldest temperature this winter at Delta Junction. That was 50.1 degrees below zero at 6:30 on the morning of January 12.

And she didn't even buy her own ticket. Her mother bought it for her. In fact, she'd forgotten all about it until she was told that she'd won.

''I was pleasantly surprised,'' said Crawford, who plans to build a kennel for her dog with her winnings.

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